I recently won an eBay auction for a 10lb. box of fabric scraps “from the 50s and 60s.” The box was not well photographed but I glimpsed some treasures. I ended up paying $18 plus $13 shipping, thinking there might be some cool stuff but expecting 90% yuck. But it was the opposite: about 5% yuck and 95% stuff that almost made me faint yesterday as I went through it all! Squeal! There are tons of samples (meaning some glue bits and thread), some scraps leftover from garment-making , and a pile of quilt squares. I didn’t win a fabric lottery on the scale of Pillow vs. Pincushion’s fabric lottery, but maybe a couple-hundred-dollar scratch-off ticket.
But get this! As I spent ALL DAY lovingly ironing, folding, and sorting, I thought a lot about this mysterious seamstress with fabulous taste I was getting this all from. I decided to write to the seller to see if it was hers or from an estate, and could she tell me anything she could about the originator. Guess what I got back? A guilt trip about winning the fabric for so little money. Apparently this is a box of leftovers, scraps, etc. from a variety of places, and the last time the seller did a lot like this she got what it was worth. Damn … way to buzz-kill, eBay seller. Next time, wash, iron, fold, sort, and take better pictures with more thorough descriptions! Or set a reserve! Or cancel the auction! Sheesh. Still, I can’t help but feel awful. At least I’ll be sharing the wealth in some upcoming swaps.